Writing Secrets: Why boredom is good for you

 In Jo-Anne Richard's blog, Tips for Writers

I day-dreamed my way through my entire school career, and was consistently punished for it.

I found the drone of the maths teacher’s voice created exactly the white noise necessary for me to slip away and immerse myself in another world.

For years, authority figures tried to make me feel guilty about it. And yet, I’m convinced one of the reasons I became a writer was my facility with day-dreaming. Writing is a bit like that – allowing yourself to disappear into another life.

The world has become less, rather than more tolerant, of allowing people time to be bored, to dream, to think. We do it to ourselves. We’re terrified of boredom. And yet, why? Even in a queue, we’ll haul out our phones and knock off a couple of emails.

The busier life gets, the greater our need for periods when we’re doing nothing but thinking and dreaming. That’s not just my opinion, either. Apparently, it’s now scientifically proven that day-dreaming has all kinds of benefits, which include enhancing creativity, improving IQ and problem-solving skills, and building empathy. On a physical level, it even lowers blood pressure.

It’s a new year and time to entrench new practices and habits – ones which benefit our creative and spiritual well-being as well. So allow yourself those free moments when you don’t reach for your phone.

Allow your mind to drift and dream. It’s good for you.

Read Richard’s latest blog: ‘Monday Motivation: Is early January too soon to panic?

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